Overview of The Civil Rights Movement: Freedom Summer Storypath
Civil Rights Movement: Freedom Summer unit evolves over six episodes as
students learn about the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Students create
civil rights workers who travel to Jackson, Mississippi in the summer of
1964 to register Black voters for the upcoming presidential election.
Through this process they examine issues of justice and equality and learn
about the courage of the civil rights workers and Black families who risked
their jobs, property, and sometimes their lives to register to vote. The
unit naturally integrates social studies, literacy, and art as students
create civil rights workers, plan for their trip, encounter prejudice and
discrimination, and consider the Constitutional rights guaranteed to all
citizens--including the right to vote. The story follows the basic structure
shown below, but can develop naturally as students contribute their own
ideas and decisions. Students immerse themselves in Freedom Summer
by creating the characters, imagining the trip to Jackson, Mississippi
in the summer of 1964, and then tackling problems of injustice and discrimination.
The Storypath is concluded with a farewell event as the civil rights workers
return home at the end of the summer. It is the goal of this Storypath
to provide students with a realistic view of the challenges of living in
this time and place and a deep and personal understanding of the Civil
Episode 1 Creating the Characters: THE CIVIL RIGHTS WORKERS
Students learn about the Civil
Rights Movement and then create civil rights workers.
Episode 2 Creating the Setting: PREPARING FOR THE TRIP
Students prepare for the trip to Mississippi and learn about life in the 1960s.
|Episode 3 Critical Incident:
Students respond to the civil
rights workers being refused service at a restaurant.
Episode 4 Critical Incident: STAY OR LEAVE
Students learn of the deaths
of civil rights workers and must decide if they will stay and continue
to register voters or return home.
|Episode 5 Building Context:
THE FREEDOM SCHOOL
Students plan how they will convince
the local people to register to vote and make presentations about voting
Episode 6 Concluding Event: THE FAREWELL
The summer is coming to an end
and the civil rights workers prepare to return home. A farewell gathering
Synthesis Activities: ASSESSMENT
Students demonstrate learning
by completing a synthesis activity.
Download "The Civil Rights
Movement: Freedom Summer Storypath" in PDF format.
For background go to: Take Me Back to the 60s
MONTE SCHOLZ of Islander Middle School, Mercer Island, Washington created the following assessments for use at the middle school level. He has given permission to make them available on this WEB site. Other assessments are included in the curriculum.
Group Work and the Individual Assessment Guide
University of Mississippi Libraries: Civil Rights/Race Relations
African American Odyssey: Civil Rights Era
Civil Rights Oral History Interviews (Washington State University)
Music of the Civil Rights Movement
Storypaths units are available from
or by calling 1-800-359-0961 or Fax 1-800-700-5093